Tuesday 27 February 2018

Delmes & Zander at Independent New York 2018

Alexandru Chira, Study XVII, undated, oil on canvas, 86 x 58.5 cm 
First Solo Show of Alexandru Chira 

Native of a small village in Transylvania, Alexandru Chira realized that the new idols of mechanized agriculture (tractors, threshers etc.) proved inefficient when faced with the tough limits of nature - his home village suffered of yearlong drought. Chira started to elaborate a sophisticated system of land-and-weather improving art equipment, a series of staggering, symbolic installations of painted metal, wire, and concrete. Their task was "to bring rain and rainbow", to convey prosperity, and prevent deluge. Later on, during the 1990s, already a university professor and acclaimed artist, Chira succeeded in accomplishing his lifelong dream: the ensemble in Tauseni, the biggest one-man-monument in Transylvania, which absorbed all his energy and financial resources as well as those of many people around him. 

Most of his prior (and later) works, either those on canvas or the drawings and objects are inspiring sketches or derivative works related to the monument. Maturing his art-agrarian fascination for decades, the monumaniac Chira deepened in the diverse branches of practical knowledge and spiritual speculation requested by such a bold plan. Architecture, design, astronomy, history, magic, UFO-logy, mysticism, shamanism, and theosophy conjoined in an effort to strengthen the material and immaterial assets of the project. Nothing is left to chance in his painted graphs. Their apparent visual geomancy is grounded on a peculiar conjunction of human will, sheer transcendence, and natural forces. The ars combinatoria of Alexandru Chira transmutes mystery into complex, planar or spherical trigonometry.

Both on canvas and on paper, the works look equally dreamy, sparse, and alchemical. Drenched in spectral aestheticism, they evoke echoes ranging from Picabia to Adolf Wölfli, and from Kandinsky to Joseph Cornell. His output is a systematic organization of irrational drives. Beneath the hermetic salvation gnosis delivered by his work, sex and power sublimate in totemic, mechanized allegories, like in the work of Konrad Klapheck. 

Delmes & Zander exclusively represent the work of Alexandru Chiras since the end of 2017. This will be the artist's first one-man-show outside of Romania. The gallery is proud to present the works for the very first time here at the Independent New York 2018.

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